Many business offices around the world are organized as open plan offices. Therefore, studies about the acoustic comfort of the people who work in them have become increasingly important. The focus of this work is the acoustic evaluation of an open plan office combining several architectural characteristics and levels of ambient noise. This evaluation was performed through a computational model calibrated from a real office. The rate of spatial decay of sound pressure levels per distance doubling (DL2) and the speech transmission index (STI) were simulated for the acoustic evaluation of the office, allowing for the determination of the radius of distraction (rD). These parameters were simulated for 6 situations using different floor and ceiling covering materials and inserting or withdrawing screens between workstations. In addition, STI and rD were simulated under two conditions of ambient noise. The results indicated that the DL2 and rD are adequate acoustic parameters for the acoustic evaluation and improvement of an open plan office. The DL2 was strongly influenced by the presence or absence of screens between workstations and by the ceiling covering material. The rD was more sensitive to changes in ambient noise.
The results of long-term continuous noise measurements in two selected schools are presented in the paper. Noise characteristics were measured continuously there for approximately 16 months. Measurements started eight months prior to the acoustic treatment of the school corridors of both schools. An evaluation of the acoustic climates in both schools, before and after the acoustic treatment, was performed based on comparison of these two periods of continuous measurements. The autonomous noise monitoring stations, engineered at the Multimedia Systems Department of the Gdańsk University of Technology were used for this purpose. Investigations of measured noise, especially its influence on hearing sense, assessed on ground of spectral analyses in critical bands, is discussed. Effects of occupational noise exposure, including the Temporary Threshold Shift simulation, are determined. The correlation of the above said measurement results with respective instantaneous noise levels is discussed, and concluding remarks are presented. Some additional indicators such as air pollution or video analysis aiming at the analysis of corridor occupancy are also measured. It should be remembered that excessive noise, or air pollution may be evidence of a dangerous event and may pose health risks.